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History in the Making: St. Peter’s Debates Pennington School

November 4th, 2010

Connected via Skype, members of St. Peter’s School and Pennington School (NJ) history classes conducted a real time debate on election day, November 2nd.  Each student had to prepare notes on a senatorial candidate’s platform and core beliefs to be ready for the live debate. Our 8th Grade students took the experience seriously and got into character.  The division heads of each school helped guide the debate as moderators.  Each candidate made an opening statement, answered a challenging question or offered a rebuttal, and made a closing statement.  Each classroom was set up to look worthy of a true telecast, complete with Old Glory in the background.

The debates were between senatorial candidates, Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal of CT, Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell of DE, Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek, and Marco Rubio of FL, Joe Sestak and Pat Toomey of PA, Harry Reid and Sharon Angle of NV, Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina of CA.

This exercise served to make civics relevant and connected to the students’ lives.  Upon completing the event, Ms. Fraser wrote, “Thanks to all of you for contributing talents, time and resources to our Election 2010 debate project today.  Microphones, computers, class time, tech support, moderator duties, classroom space and general encouragement all contributed to our success and our 8th graders were outstanding in their efforts.” Thanks to Ms. Fraser and Mr. Moore (of Pennington) for organizing this momentous event.